By Jon Keller

DORCHESTER (CBS/AP) – On the 10th anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq, Rep. Stephen Lynch said only time will tell if it was worth the cost.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports

More than 4,000 Americans were killed and 32,000 wounded as U.S. forces ousted Saddam Hussein and his regime. More than 100,000 Iraqis also died.

In a news conference at a veteran’s post in Dorchester Tuesday, Lynch, who’s been to Iraq 14 times as a Congressman, said the war did bring differing ethnic groups together.

“Before they had one strongman, Saddam Hussein, who made all the decisions and through force and through oppression he pushed his agenda. They never had the responsibility of sitting down across the table and arguing out their issues,” Lynch told reporters.

Lynch, who’s running for the Senate against fellow Congressman Ed Markey, also discussed the challenges facing veterans when they return from active duty, including the claims backlog at VA hospitals.

Both Lynch and Markey voted in favor of the White House’s Iraq war resolution in 2002.

A year later, Markey voted against the Bush administration’s $87 billion funding package for the war, which Lynch supported.

Lynch now says he wishes the U.S. could have used more diplomacy in ousting Saddam Hussein.

“I think our error, which I do regret, is that we moved to quickly,” he said.

Opponent in the U.S. Senate primary Congressman Ed Markey called the war “a fraud” and said the whole conflict could have been avoided.

When WBZ-TV’s Jon Keller posed the issue to GOP U.S. Senate hopefuls the answers were ambivalent.

“There’s no doubt the world is a better and safer place without this dangerous dictator,” Rep. Dan Winslow said.

Michael Sullivan said the fate of Iraq is ultimately, in the hands of the Iraqis and Gabriel Gomez avoided the question and thanked military men and women for their service.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Jon Keller


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